Top 10 Things Churches Need to Know About Zoning

Editor's note: Church law expert Richard Hammar says zoning is one of the Top 5 issues to land a church in court. To learn more about church property and zoning laws, check out Richard's Volume 2 of "Pastor, Church, & Law, 4th Edition."

Below are 10 things your church should know about zoning:

1. Zoning laws can prevent your congregation (whether by lease or purchase) from using land or buildings in many areas. They can also prevent you from expanding current facilities.

2. Include a "zoning contingency clause" in any real estate contract to protect your congregation from a financial loss if permission to rezone the property is not obtained by authorities.

3. Check zoning laws in advance. If you plan to purchase land or expand your present facilities, check with municipal officials before you shop.

Continue reading this article at, the website for our sister publication Leadership journal, where the article first appeared. Click here for a free trial issue.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

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